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Preview: Blackhawks at Devils

Chicago reunites Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane; goalie Keith Kinkaid gets start for New Jersey

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

BLACKHAWKS (3-3-1) at DEVILS (3-2-1)

7:30 p.m. ET; MSG+, WGN, NHL.TV


Blackhawks team scope

Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will reunite center Jonathan Toews and right wing Patrick Kane on the top line. Kane (two goals, eight points) had a lot of success with Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov last season, but Quenneville is looking to spark his captain, Toews. Kane scored 46 goals and 106 points to win the Art Ross Trophy last season; Panarin had 30 goals and 77 points to win the Calder Trophy. Toews has two assists in seven games and will begin the game playing between Kane and left wing Richard Panik. "Kane has always played with Toews on the top line and in top situations," Quenneville said. "Maybe that line can be just as effective. That balance we talk about is what we're looking for." Kane relishes the opportunity to play with Toews. "I guess change can be good in this sense," he said. "We can probably produce a little bit more offense and have the puck a little bit more throughout the game. I've played with Jonny a bunch before. Obviously, not as much lately. But I'm looking forward to it." Anisimov was skating with Panarin and Marian Hossa on Friday morning. "I think we want balance, that's what we're looking for whether it's his line or the other line, we know if we have more consistency and not just that predictability of one line doing the scoring for us, it's what we're looking for," Quenneville said. "We still like the way [Toews] plays, he's so useful in so many different ways. I think maybe we get more balance on both lines. We've been trying a number of different looks in our top two groups but over seven games we still need to be better in a lot of ways." Chicago is last in the League in penalty-killing, allowing 14 goals in 26 attempts (46.2 percent). Defenseman Michal Rozsival made his season debut in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Calgary Flames on Monday after sitting out the first six games as a healthy scratch. He had three hits and two blocked shots in 16:39.


Devils team scope

Goaltender Keith Kinkaid will make his season debut for the New Jersey Devils. Cory Schneider, who has started the first six games, will play at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. "We expect [Kinkaid] to help us win a hockey game," coach John Hynes said. "He has experience in the League and in these situations, and we knew at this point in the season it would be a situation, barring injury, that starting this weekend and going into November that Keith would have to be a major contributor to our team. It's a good opportunity for him." Right wing Nick Lappin will make his NHL debut on right wing with center Vernon Fiddler and left wing Sergey Kalinin. "Nick is hard on the puck in the offensive zone and finds a way to get in and around the net, and has a knack to score. We have a lot of left-shot forwards on Fiddler's line and were playing guys out of position so [Lappin] deserves the opportunity. He brings a type of game we're looking for and he's a right-shot forward." The Devils are ranked sixth in the NHL in penalty-killing (18-of-20, 90.0 percent).


Blackhawks projected lineup

Richard Panik -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Marian Hossa

Tyler Motte -- Marcus Kruger-- Ryan Hartman

Dennis Rasmussen -- Nick Schmaltz -- Jordin Tootoo

Duncan Keith -- Brian Campbell

Niklas Hjalmarsson -- Brent Seabrook

Michal Kempny -- Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Vinnie Hinostroza

Injured: Gustav Forsling (upper body), Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body), Andrew Desjardins (lower body)


Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Pavel Zacha -- Kyle Palmieri

Beau Bennett -- Adam Henrique -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Michael Cammalleri -- Travis Zajac -- PA Parenteau

Sergey Kalinin -- Vernon Fiddler -- Nick Lappin

Andy Greene - Damon Severson

John Moore - Ben Lovejoy

Yohann Auvitu - Kyle Quincey

Keith Kinkaid

Cory Schneider

Scratched: Jacob Josefson, Reid Boucher, Steven Santini

Injured : Jon Merrill (finger), Luke Gazdic (foot)


Status report

Forsling is day-to-day and did not make the trip but could return Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings at United Center. Hinostroza will be a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game. Quenneville said Desjardins may begin skating soon. Crawford will make his sixth start of the season; he is 1-3-0 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in five games. … Lappin will replace Boucher in the lineup. Lappin, 23, has one goal and three points in six games with Albany this season. He had five goals and seven points in 11 AHL playoff games last season.


Who's hot

Anisimov has four goals and nine points in his past five games. … Hall has three goals, four points and is plus-2 in his past two games.

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